Rep. Cole is chairman of the NRCC.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush’s poll numbers are hovering around 30 percent and Congress’s are even lower, but National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, said Thursday he “feels good” about his party’s chances in the 2008 congressional races.
In a briefing with reporters, Cole said the NRCC has recruited 15 to 20 “strong candidates” in districts that were closely fought in 2006, and said they were “pragmatic professional decision makers." He also said he expects an anti-incumbent mood to collectively benefit his party, which currently finds itself in the minority.
But Cole’s job is made more difficult by the NRCC’s financial disadvantage relative to its counterpart, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Cole said Thursday that the committee raised between $13 million and $14 million dollars in the second quarter, and currently only has $2 million cash on hand. Meanwhile the DCCC said Thursday it had raised $17 million in the same period and has $19.5 million on hand - nearly ten times more than the NRCC.
Both committees face debts of around $4 million.
As for the President’s influence in the congressional races, Cole said "he won't be the decisive figure in the '08 election. There will be a new face on the Republican Party."
Cole also downplayed the effect of any particular Democratic candidate in motivating his party’s voters.
“I don’t think people vote for or against their representative on the basis of their presidential nominee,” he said.
– CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
Of course they are upbeat. Anyone witnessing the childish spectacle the Congressional Democrats are making of themselves, it would make any opponent upbeat.
"I don't think people vote for or against their representative on the basis of their presidential nominee."
Well guess what Mr. Cole, in 2008, people are going to vote overwhemingly against any nominee, that will be 'associated' in Any-Way, Shape or Form with George W. Bush!!
The RNCC could have more money if they would listen to the ACTUAL REPUBLICAN VOTERS! We've sent them emails telling them why we stopped sending money. Did they listen? NO!
Well, they might figure it out one day that we are starting to give our money to HONEST candidates directly and will not contribute to the party until the party remembers that they are supposed to represent HONEST CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICANS!
When the RNCC decides to abandon support for creeps like McCain, Giuliani, Mel Martinez, and Fred Thompson, maybe the members will come back and start contributing again. Until then, we'll be looking for ways to replace the RNCC "leadership" and the jerks that are currently in office masquarading as republicans.
Did I mention that we'll also be voting for people like Ron Paul.
To look ahead to 2008, we need to remind ourselves how Democrats made gains in 06. They ran on a platform of anti-war, economic dissatisfaction, and GOP corruption. That worked then, but it will not fly in 08. Many republican challengers to those lost seats will take an anti-war stance too, and will carry public perception that the GOP handles national security better. Despite the war, polls show that perception still exists. You will also see a lot of new GOP faces that Dems cannot link to corruption charges of previous office Republicans. Lastly, economic issues, all Republicans have to do for that is point to the immigration debate. If Dems had had their way, then mid-class would legally have to compete against illegal immigrants. In many ways, illegal aliens have caused mid-class voters' wages to stagnate, and that is the reason, not unfair tax and economic policies, that have prevented them from being able to share in our booming economy. (By all accounts, it is booming.)
Let us also remember that many of the seats won by the Dem were very moderate, even right leaning, donkeys of a different color. Their conservative stances, along with being anti-war, are what got them their seats. It will be very different for them to play the same card again in conservative, typically Republican held, districts. The GOP could make-up a lot of lost ground across the entire country in 08.
Seems to be a fact hes more popular than Congress.
We saw what an all Republican government can do and its not a pretty sight. The last six years were a nightmare. Republicans got anything they wanted. They were even going to cut Social Security. Thankfully the 2006 elections brought some balance to the federal government.
James in Atlanta, you should remember that it was Bush, a Republican who wanted and still wants the amnesty bill passed. So don't give me this crap about the Democrats wanting amnesty because Bush himself wants it.
Also, it is going to be very difficult for Republicans to defeat incumbents absent Rudy Giuliani winning by 25 points. Most of the seats Democrats won were not rabid right wing seats, but moderate seats that voted pretty close to the national average in 2004.